— From Vincent Canby’s 1991 review of “Barton Fink”
“Pardon the late sniping, but I believe ol’ Vinny Can referred to David Lynch as John Lynch in this ’91 review of Barton Fink,” Neil Barbour wrote to the New York Times on Monday. “I assume I’ll be awarded the key to the city after a catch like this.”
Sorry, Neil, but no key — or even a correction — for you!
A Times staffer’s reply:
Thanks for letting us know about this, but we only correct errors in our pages up to one year after they appear in print. This is because we run a print correction for every error that appears in our pages, with the purpose of informing readers who still remember the article in question that something erroneous was included. For older articles, no readers would remember (and on a more realistic note, we don’t have the resources or often the ability to look up something that happened 20, 50 or 100 years ago).
Assistant to the Senior Editor, Standards
The New York Times
After Barbour posted this exchange on his Facebook wall, one of his friends wrote: “What’s to stop someone from fixing the story on the Web? Barton Fink’s not a hard reference to pin down. Heck, DavidJohn Lynch [sic] is even alive to ask.”
Barbour responded: “Look, the man’s name is John Lynch now. The assistant TO the senior editor of standards said so.”
He tells Romenesko readers: “I responded after they said they wouldn’t run a correction with: ‘A fine policy indeed. It does seem strange to leave it un-annotated in the archives, though? At any rate, thanks for having a look.’ But haven’t heard back since. I am more or less giving up at this point.”